A Woman’s Journey to Volunteer With Purpose
Sue Rizzo, a volunteer with Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, recently shared with us her experience with hospice care for her father, and how that inspired her to volunteer with hospice and palliative care patients.
The doctor looked my dad in the eye and said “Sir, you’ve shown your family how to live. Now you need to go home and show them how to die.”
With those words, we started on our hospice journey…
…and were surprised to find out that it wasn’t about dying. It was about living!
After four months of following treatment plans and doctor’s orders to hold back the ravages of pancreatic cancer, my dad was able to choose what kind of care he wanted. It gave him a renewed sense of living.
He was able to sit up and read to us as a family as he did when we were young children. He sang along as friends came by with guitars to serenade him. He got to take a ride up to his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains and look out over the Shenandoah Valley. He got to reminisce with friends and family, laugh at photos of his younger self and join us in prayer at dinnertime.
Because of hospice, his last month was filled with these “adventures” that will remain as sweet memories for the rest of us.
Through this journey we learned that choosing hospice wasn’t giving up…it was stepping up to provide the best quality of life at the end of life.
And let’s be honest—we will all face the end of life. How better to do it than by being wrapped in the loving arms of your family and loved ones while the hospice team takes care of your physical needs.
Because that’s what hospice does—it allows us to just BE with our family. And who could ask for a more precious ending than that?